Dinosaurs in Their Time

DinoGuide: Corythosaurus casuarius

Duck-billed dinosaurs varied considerably in the shape of their skulls.

Corythosaurus was characterized by a large bony crest composed of the nasal and premaxillary bones. This crest extended up over the head and was shaped like an ancient warrior's helmet from Corinth (Greece). The arms were short, but trackways show that duck-billed dinosaurs usually walked on all fours.

Research shows that environments in western North America during Late Cretaceous times were similar to those in the southern and southeastern United States today.

The cross-sectional model of a restored Corythosaurus skull shows the structure of the air passages. The skull mounted on the skeleton shows the premaxillae, the bones normally forming only the tip of the upper jaws, extending upward to form the front part of the crest of the skull. The nasal bones are pushed up, forming the top and back of the crest. The cross-section shows air passages extending up into the crest to form an air chamber, which may have been used for making sounds, perhaps to communicate with other members of the herd.

CorythosaurusCARNEGIE SPECIMEN NUMBER:
CM 9461

SCIENTIFIC NAME MEANING:
"Cassowary-like reptile, with Corinthian helmet crest"

CLASSIFICATION:
Dinosauria : Ornithischia : Ornithopoda : Hadrosauridae : Lambeosaurinae

LENGTH:
Up to 33 feet (10 meters)

GEOLOGICAL FORMATION & LOCALITY:
Dinosaur Park Formation; near Steveville, Red Deer River Valley, Alberta, Canada

COLLECTOR:
Exchange from Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; collected for ROM by Levi Sternberg, 1920

TIME PERIOD:
Late Cretaceous, 75–80 million years ago

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